How to Make the Perfect Cilantro Lime Rice

If you are looking for a delicious and flavorful side dish to accompany your Mexican or Tex-Mex inspired meals, then look no further than Perfect Cilantro Lime Rice. This simple yet vibrant rice dish is full of zesty flavors that will elevate your meal to a whole new level.

To make this dish, you will need just a few basic ingredients like long-grain white rice, fresh cilantro, lime juice, and a pinch of salt. The secret to achieving the perfect texture and flavor lies in the cooking technique. The rice is first toasted with garlic and then cooked in a mixture of water, lime juice, and salt. Once the rice is cooked and has absorbed all the flavors, it is then tossed with freshly chopped cilantro to add a bright and herbaceous touch. The result is a fluffy and fragrant rice that pairs beautifully with grilled meats, tacos, or as a standalone side dish.

Here is a quick overview of the ingredients and instructions:

– 1 cup long-grain white rice
– 2 cloves of garlic, minced
– 2 cups water
– Juice of 1 lime
– 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
– Salt to taste
  1. In a large skillet, heat some oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  2. Next, add the rice to the skillet and toast it for a few minutes until it becomes lightly golden.
  3. Add the water, lime juice, and salt to the skillet. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover the skillet.
  4. Simmer the rice for about 15-20 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked through.
  5. Remove the skillet from the heat and let it sit, covered, for another 5 minutes.
  6. Fluff the rice with a fork and stir in the chopped cilantro.
  7. Serve the Perfect Cilantro Lime Rice as a side dish with your favorite Mexican or Tex-Mex dishes.

Enjoy the burst of flavors from the cilantro and lime in every bite of this Perfect Cilantro Lime Rice!


1. Rice

To start, you will need rice as the base of the dish. Choose a long-grain white rice like jasmine rice or basmati rice for the best texture and flavor.

2. Cilantro

Cilantro is the star ingredient in this recipe. Fresh cilantro leaves add a vibrant and herby flavor to the rice. You will need a bunch of cilantro for this recipe.

3. Lime

The lime juice and zest provide a tangy and citrusy taste to the rice. Make sure to use fresh lime juice for the best flavor.

4. Garlic

4. Garlic

Garlic adds a savory and aromatic element to the rice. You will need a couple of cloves of garlic, minced, for this recipe.

5. Salt

A small amount of salt is necessary to enhance the flavors of the dish. Adjust the amount of salt to taste.

6. Olive oil

6. Olive oil

Olive oil is used to sauté the rice and garlic, giving it a rich and slightly nutty flavor.

7. Water or broth

Water or broth is used to cook the rice. If you want to add more flavor to the rice, you can use vegetable or chicken broth instead of water.

These are the key ingredients you will need to make cilantro lime rice. Once you have gathered all the ingredients, you can start cooking and enjoy this flavorful side dish!



To begin, gather all of the necessary ingredients: 1 cup of long-grain white rice, 2 cups of water, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the juice of 1 lime, 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro, and salt to taste. Having these ingredients ready will make the cooking process smoother and more efficient.

  1. Start by rinsing the rice thoroughly under cold water. This step removes excess starch and prevents the rice from becoming sticky.
  2. In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the rinsed rice and cook, stirring frequently, for about 2-3 minutes, or until the rice starts to turn golden brown. This adds a nutty flavor to the dish.
  3. Next, add the water and salt to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and all of the water has been absorbed. It’s important to keep the saucepan covered to trap the steam and ensure even cooking.
  4. Once the rice is cooked, remove the saucepan from the heat and let it sit, covered, for an additional 5 minutes. This resting period allows the rice to absorb any remaining moisture and results in a fluffier texture.
  5. After the resting period, uncover the saucepan and fluff the rice with a fork. Drizzle the fresh lime juice over the rice and add the chopped cilantro. Gently fold the ingredients together until they are evenly distributed throughout the rice. The lime juice adds a tangy brightness, while the cilantro adds a fresh and fragrant note.

Your perfect cilantro lime rice is now ready to be served as a delicious side dish or as a base for your favorite Mexican or Asian-inspired recipes. Enjoy!

Tips and Variation

  • Use fresh cilantro: Using fresh cilantro instead of dried cilantro or cilantro paste will give the rice a vibrant and aromatic flavor.
  • Add lime zest and juice: Along with the cilantro, adding lime zest and juice will give the rice a tangy and refreshing taste.
  • Sauté the rice: Before cooking the rice, sauté it in some oil or butter for a few minutes. This will help enhance the nutty flavor and prevent the rice from becoming sticky.
  • Use chicken or vegetable broth: Instead of using plain water, cooking the rice with chicken or vegetable broth will add more depth of flavor to the dish.

If you want to switch things up and try different variations of cilantro lime rice, here are a few ideas:

  1. Fiesta rice: Add some diced bell peppers, corn, and black beans to the rice for a colorful and flavorful fiesta rice.
  2. Spicy rice: Add some diced jalapeños or crushed red pepper flakes to the rice to give it a spicy kick.
  3. Cilantro lime cauliflower rice: Replace the regular rice with cauliflower rice for a low-carb and keto-friendly version of cilantro lime rice.

By following these tips and trying out different variations, you can create a delicious and customized cilantro lime rice that suits your taste preferences and dietary needs.

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